Edmund S. Muskie
(1914 - 1996)
Edmund Muskie, of Rumford, Maine was a contemporary of Margaret Chase Smith's and an equally popular politician. Muskie grew up in a Polish-American family, graduated from Bates College, attended Cornell law school, and began a modest law practice in Waterville before entering politics. Muskie was a Democrat in a predominantly Republican state, a fact that did not bode well for his career. But, after serving two terms in the Maine State legislature, Muskie surprised the state by winning the gubernatorial election in 1954. Muskie's election ended an almost century-long era of Republican rule in the state house, and brought the state back to a true two-party political system. As Governor, Muskie fought to improve public education as well as the state's failing economy. He served two terms as Governor, and then joined Margaret Chase Smith in the U.S. Senate, where he earned the nickname "Mr. Clean" for his pro-environment stances. Muskie was Hubert Humphrey's running mate in the presidential election of 1968, and ran for president himself four years later in 1972. He served as Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter.
Source: Finding Katahdin: An Exploration of Maine's Past, by Amy Hassinger. Orono: University of Maine Press, 2000. Image courtesy Maine Historical Society.